The Greater Manchester Combined Authority is consulting the public on its proposed Nature Recovery Plan with a closing date for responses of 7 March. Liberal Democrat Leader Councillor Howard Sykes MBE is encouraging local people to respond; in the meantime, he has some sage words of advice ‘leave our nature be!’
Councillor Sykes is dismayed by the fact that the consultation is being conducted by the same authority that is responsible for the failed Greater Manchester Spatial Framework and is now developing a new Places for Everyone plan for the nine Greater Manchester authorities, eight Labour-led and one-Conservative, which remain wedded to rolling out a series of large-scale housing schemes on green belt sites throughout the city-region.
Commenting, Councillor Sykes said: “Our natural environment, whether a local park, a green field, woodland or a canal towpath, has been a source of solace, peace and quiet, and enjoyment for so people during an awful year when we have otherwise had to remain isolated at home during an unprecedented pandemic.
“I welcome the fact that Greater Manchester has been selected for government funding to develop a nature recovery plan, but it seems to be completely at odds with those who seem dedicated to destroying our Green Belt by building thousands of new homes upon it, to be extolling the virtues of the natural environment.”
Councillor Sykes is therefore urging everyone to have their say and use this opportunity to send in their comments condemning Labour’s new Green Belt homes plan. “This is the first phase of the next battle, but if we all say ‘yes’ to nature and ‘no’ to Labour’s plan to concrete over our beautiful open spaces we might give our local countryside a fighting chance of still being available for future generations to enjoy.”
The consultation can be found at: https://www.gmconsult.org/environment-team-policy-and-strategy/help-nature-recover-in-greater-manchester/
The closing date for comments is 7 March.